FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT:
Christina Claassen
Whatcom Museum
360.778.8936
cmclaassen@cob.org

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Winter 2019 Exhibitions at the Whatcom Museum Feature Washington’s World War II History and Artists’ Responses to Landscape

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA will host two exhibitions at the Museum campus this winter: Washington Remembers WWII: Their Sacrifice. Our Freedom. at Old City Hall, January 19 – April 14, 2019 and Bellingham National 2019: Water’s Edge on exhibit at the Lightcatcher building February 2 – May 19, 2019. While these are two very different exhibitions, they provide visitors with experiences in Northwest history, as well as a view of contemporary artists’ engagement with the natural landscape, both paramount to the Museum’s mission-based exhibitions.

Washington Remembers WWII: Their Sacrifice. Our Freedom.

Before they liberated concentration camps or freed countries from tyranny, men and women in uniform fought enemy forces everywhere — in factories on the Washington home front and on beaches abroad. They braved the unknown, lived through the unthinkable, and changed who we are. Washington Remembers WWII features emotion-packed stories documenting the personal experiences of men and women from Washington State who fought for freedom on the battlefield and on the home-front.

This Legacy Washington exhibit was created through the Office of the Secretary of State to honor the tens of thousands of Washingtonians who served in the war.

“The profiles allow World War II veterans a chance to share stories that haven’t been told. The time to hear their stories is now. Every three minutes in this country, we lose a World War II veteran. These heroes offer first-hand accounts of the war, a personal perspective to history, that we can’t afford to lose,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

In addition to the Legacy stories, the exhibit will highlight a variety of World War II artifacts, documents, and historic photographs from the Whatcom Museum’s collection, bringing a localized perspective into the narrative. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum’s Old City Hall building.

Bellingham National 2019, Water’s Edge: Landscapes for Today

The Whatcom Museum presents the third biennial Bellingham National Juried Art Exhibition and Awards, Water’s Edge: Landscapes for Today, at the Lightcatcher building. Juried by Bruce Guenther, Adjunct Curator for Special Exhibitions at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Bellingham National 2019 will feature the work of 59 artists from across the United States. Guenther describes the exhibition as, “An effort through the jury pool at representing the investigation of contemporary art practices which address our collective understandings of the Earth, climate change, and the evolving relationships of humanity to Nature. The works range from traditional interpretations of the observed landscape to the metaphoric and spiritual manifestations of landscape through image, color, language, and the mapping of our felt responses to nature and the world.”

Selected artworks span a broad range of media, from watercolor to oil painting, photography to collage and fiber art; and styles of working from hyperrealism to abstraction. The works selected by Guenther reflect the artists’ myriad responses to both natural or man-made landscape forms. Artists featured in the exhibition come from across the country, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

A members’ preview reception for Bellingham National 2019 Juried Art Exhibition and Awards will take place on Friday, February 1, 2019 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Lightcatcher building. Three artists, chosen by Guenther, will receive cash awards of $2,000, $1,000, and $500 during the opening celebration. Visitors will have an opportunity to have their voices heard through a popular choice award of $500, which will be announced the last week of the exhibition.

About Bellingham National Exhibit Curator Bruce Guenther

Art historian and independent curator Bruce Guenther is currently serving as Adjunct Curator for Special Exhibitions at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. A specialist in post-war American and European Art, Guenther was the Chief Curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, until his retirement in 2014. Previously he was the Chief Curator at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois, and head of the Modern Art Program at the Seattle Art Museum, Washington. He has curated major monographic and thematic exhibitions internationally and authored numerous books and exhibition catalogues.

About Whatcom Museum

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA, offers a variety of exhibitions, programs, tours, and activities about art, nature, and Northwest history for all ages. Its multi-building campus is located in the heart of Bellingham’s downtown Arts District. The Lightcatcher building and Old City Hall are open Wednesdays – Sundays, Noon – 5 p.m. For more information about our exhibitions and admission visit www.whatcommuseum.org. Locations: Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; Old City Hall, 121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.

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